DE seminar: Professor Sotaro Kita 'Gesture: its relationship to thinking and speaking'
From Herve Lacroix on May 10th, 2019
Professor Sotaro Kita, University of Warwick
This seminar took place on 9th May 2019 at Moray House School of Education.
Note: due to a technical problem this recording only includes sound within the embedded video clips.
This presentation concerns a theory on how gestures (accompanying speaking and silent thinking) are generated and how gestures facilitate the gesturer's own cognitive processes. I will present evidence that gestures are generated from a general-purpose Action Generator, which also generates “practical” actions such as grasping a cup to drink, and that the Action Generator generates gestural representation in close coordination with the speech production process (Kita & Ozyurek, 2003, Journal of Memory and Language). I will also present evidence that gestures facilitate thinking and speaking through four functions: gesture activates, manipulates, packages and explores spatio-motoric representations (Kita, Chu, & Alibali, 2017, Psychological Review). Further, I will argue that schematic nature of gestural representation plays a crucial role in these four functions. To summarise, gesture, generated at the interface of action and language, shapes the way we think and we speak.